It has been formed by the three leading UK bottled water companies – Danone Waters (UK & Ireland) Ltd, Highland Spring and Nestlé Waters.
Its aim will be to provide authoritative information and advice for researchers, government, the industry, media and public about the economic and social value and impact of bottled water.
“Water is a fundamental human need, for which natural bottled water provides a healthy, convenient and consistent way for UK consumers to stay hydrated,” said Nick Krzyzaniak, MD of Danone Waters UK & Ireland. “The role of the Natural Hydration Council is to provide consumers with an informed choice on the health and sustainability aspects of naturally sourced water.”
“Not many people realise that natural bottled water comes from fully sustainable sources and in recyclable packaging,” said Paolo Sangiorgi, MD of Nestlé Waters UK. “We need the Council to undertake new research and communicate the facts to ensure fully informed consumer choices.”
“Natural bottled water is often compared with tap water, but research shows that nine out of 10 consumers are choosing it in place of other drinks rather than tap water,” added Les Montgomery, chief executive of Highland Spring. “Additionally, consumers are increasingly keen to know exactly where their preferred natural bottled water comes from and appreciate the fact that it cannot be treated with any chemicals, unlike tap water. Many consumers also prefer the taste of natural, untreated bottled water and have the reassurance that each consignment has to pass stringent quality assurance tests before it can be released for sale.”
The Natural Hydration Council website will now become the main industry portal for enquiries about bottled water, alongside a new information line: 08452 100 222. The Council will have an office based in London, led by Jeremy Clarke as its newly appointed director.
According to Zenith International, UK bottled water consumption amounted to 2,185 million litres in 2007, equivalent to 36 litres per person. Volumes have risen 143% in the 10 years since 1997, but fell 4% in 2007 after poor summer weather. Sales are forecast to grow again after another weak year in 2008.
Americans drink an average 112 litres per year and the average for all of West Europe is 115 litres per year.
UK bottled water sales at retail prices were worth £1.59bn or £0.73 per litre in 2007. The average price in supermarkets last year was £0.31 per litre.
75% of 2007 volume was produced in the UK and a further 18% in France. Less than 1% came from outside Europe.
This article was updated to include new links and a better logo.
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